teachers’ update from Middle School

Hi everyone, Happy Friday!

The highlight of our week has been the “12 Days of Cheer” we have been doing. It has been so fun to see the students all dressed up and sharing their families holiday traditions with their classmates. Next week we have five more fun days before two weeks apart. I have attached the schedule of spirit days again should you need it.

Genius Hour projects were presented this week and WOW some amazing creations were shared. Kudos to everyone who put in the work to think outside the box and stretch the limits of their imagination. The hard work really paid off. We also finished off Short Stories in LA and The Real Number System in math. Students should have received their copy of JUMP! math in the post this week (or a digital copy if that was pre-requested for international students). Please let us know right away if those have not made it to you yet.

The end of this week and next week we are getting in one more “cross curricular” project. It is much more structured than the last two and it just covers one science unit (Matter for gr7 and cells for gr8s). Students use their Edwin collection and the internet to complete a learning and thinking task and will then create science holiday cards to showcase their new understanding. These holiday cards are due on Thursday next week and the students will have Tuesday and Wednesday in class to work on them. They will be busy right to the end of the week, but we don’t want any more than one normal night’s homework to be assigned over the break. The students have all worked so hard this term so far and a break from screens and daily routine to spend time with family enjoying the holiday is much needed.

I’m also including a link to the Orbit Holiday Cookbook we created with our students through one of our theme days. We also went on to use our recipes as part of our Health class and made some healthy substitutions and identified potential allergens in them! It’s been a busy couple of weeks in MS!

Orbit Holiday Cookbook:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Z22S0wSw1qA97Ugbl8C4nez32cwv97C19tqjm6qVeSc/edit?usp=sharing

Have a fantastic weekend and speak soon,

Ms. Gibson and Ms. Kitchen

Though our physical doors remain temporarily closed, the minds of our students stay open. Summer classes are continuing to meet on their regular daily schedules, in virtual classrooms with face-to-face instruction and peer interaction.  The Blyth Academy model of small class sizes, flexible scheduling and individualized approach have enabled us to remain faithful to our standards. Our commitment to ongoing and meaningful communication between school, teachers, students and families has been critical to this effort.

Although our students have transitioned into summer mode and COVID-19 restrictions have begun to loosen, we are looking ahead to what September will hold for our campuses and families.
We want to be clear - our preference and our priority is to get students back to our campuses, but we must ensure this is done in a safe and effective way. While we await official guidance from Public Health and the Ministry of Education, a "return to school" task force has been hard at work putting concrete operational plans in place for all likely scenarios. This includes a full return to campus with safeguards, a blended model of virtual and in-campus learning and the continuation of fully virtual classrooms. All scenarios will provide robust learning and live, daily instruction and interaction with teachers and peers. 
With ten campuses across Ontario, we realize that each one of our schools is a unique space and community. We will be implementing across-the-board policies on hand washing, facility cleaning and social distancing measures. Each school is also prepared to pivot individually based on the guidance of local health authorities and to best serve students and families. 
Our recent survey showed that over 80 per cent of Blyth Academy families are eager to return to campuses, and we are hard at work to prepare for this day. As September's scenario becomes clearer and more information becomes available, we will continue to communicate. 

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